Truck accidents have the potential to cause significant damages because of their size and weight. An 18 wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., where an average car may weigh under 3,000 lbs. In an accident, the vehicle occupants could sustain life-threatening injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, a Fayetteville truck accident lawyer from McMath Woods P.A. can help you understand your legal options.
Our firm is dedicated to giving truck accident victims a voice and getting them the compensation they deserve. We have fought for citizens all over our state and are ready to provide the same help to Fayetteville. While a serious accident can cause many setbacks, we can be at your side and guide you through the claims process so you receive a fair settlement that will aid in your recovery.
How Do Truck Accidents Happen?
The truck collision lawyers at our firm understand how complicated and confusing a claim involving a truck can be. You need to have all the facts and find out how the negligence occurred. There are a few common causes of truck accidents that may apply to your case.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) released The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, which took data from large truck crashes that occurred between 2001 and 2003. They broke down factors in an accident into categories concerning:
- Driver Error
- Truck Issues
In many cases, the driver could have made a mistake that caused the accident. While there are instances of negligence that could cause a collision with any motor vehicle, like distracted driving, drunk driving, or aggressive driving, truck drivers also need to be aware of other dangers.
For example, trucks have significantly different blind spots than an average car. If there’s a vehicle directly in front of the truck, behind the trailer, or next to a truck on either side, there’s a strong chance the truck driver cannot see the vehicle. Truck drivers need to be careful when merging or changing lanes or they could swerve into a vehicle next to them.
A new truck driver may not be used to handling such a large vehicle. Big rigs need more time to speed up, slow down, and turn. If an inexperienced driver tries to slow down or turn the truck but didn’t give it the proper amount of time to decelerate, they could lose control of the vehicle. Speeding in a truck can sometimes lead to jackknifing, where the trailer swings out next to the cab and forms an L or V shape. Vehicles in the path of the truck are in danger of getting hit. Jackknifing contributed to five percent of accidents from the study’s sample.
Trucker fatigue is another factor that could have led to your collision. Truck drivers often have strict, busy schedules that may push them to drive when they’re exhausted. Unfortunately, a fatigued driver is not attentive and cannot react quickly to emergencies on the road. A truck driver may fall asleep at the wheel. Fatigued driving was a factor in 13% of the study’s accidents.
However, there are vehicle issues that can cause wrecks. The driver may not be aware of these issues until something happens on the road.
- Problems with brakes or tires
- Improperly loaded cargo
If the brakes or tires fail on a truck, the driver could lose control and crash into a vehicle next to them. A truck transporting cargo will have a weight limit and the cargo needs to have even distribution so there isn’t unnecessary stress on axles and the trailer won’t be unbalanced. If the cargo weight exceeds what the trailer can hold or isn’t balanced, the driver could have difficulty controlling the vehicle, especially one as large as an 18-wheeler.
Which Roads May Trucks Use in Fayetteville?
Fayetteville has several highways and an interstate that trucks may use. When you’re driving on these roads, be sure to look for trucks and drive cautiously.
- Interstate 49
- Highway 16E and 16W
- Highway 45
- Highway 62
- Highway 71B
- Highway 112
- Highway 156
- Highway 180
- Highway 265
An incident on Interstate 49 revealed another dangerous aspect of large transport vehicle accidents—what happens if the truck loses its cargo? A trucker transporting chicken by-products witnessed two cars get into an accident in front of him. He had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the vehicles. His brakes locked and the chicken by-product load littered the interstate.
While the truck didn’t collide with the vehicles, it shows how accidents on interstates and highways can quickly involve other vehicles around them because they’re traveling at high speeds. An inattentive or drowsy truck driver may not have hit the brakes in time.
If the truck had been transporting hazardous chemicals or other dangerous substances, they could have caused a fire or seeped into the environment. These dangers could potentially put those involved in the accident at risk as well as residents in the area.
Accidents like the one on Interstate 49 demonstrate how complicated an accident involving a truck can become. It takes a professional who is well-versed in truck accident law and experienced in gathering evidence to discover who was at fault. Our attorneys are up to the task. Let’s look into possible liable parties if a big rig collision occurs.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
After investigating what caused your accident, your lawyers in Fayetteville will find the person responsible for your injuries. While many may automatically think the truck driver was at fault, that isn’t always the case. The trucking company could be the party that led to your accident.
Trucking companies are supposed to inspect their vehicles and make sure they’re putting safe trucks on the road. Skipping inspections or knowingly sending out a truck that has an issue puts the company’s driver and others around them in danger.
A manufacturing company that sells auto parts for trucks could produce a faulty product that causes the trucker to lose control and crash while they’re driving. If a defective product is the reason why your accident happened, then we’ll do everything we can to hold the manufacturing company responsible.
Seek Justice with McMath Woods P.A.
Our attorneys realize you need a fair settlement so you can afford your medical bills and be able to recover in peace. When we’re by your side, you’ll know we’re doing our best to get you the compensation you deserve. The sooner you get in touch with our lawyers, the sooner you can start moving forward with your case. Give us a call today.